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he should see his seed and be glorified. The Son of God employed all the sacraments of the covenant of grace to confirm this covenant. The covenant of grace is the third, which hath spiritual and heavenly promises, and particularly that the Lord will be the God of the sinner, which is the sum of every gracious promise. This covenant of grace, having a twofold administration or dispensation, to wit, of the Old and of the New Testament, hath also, according to the dispensations of those times, two kinds of sacraments, to wit, either of the Old or of the New Testament. These were extraordinary sacraments, as the preservation of Noah with his household in the erk by water, according to 1 Peter iii. 20, 21, the passage of Israel through the red sca, the pillar of cloud, and the rock, as Paul teach eth us, 1 Cor. x. 1-4, or ordinary sacraments; such were all the ceremonies of the typical worship; but ci cumcision and the passover were more especially the ordinary sacraments of that time. See Gen. xvii. and Exd xii. The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord's supper; these and no others did Christ institute, Matt. xxviii. 19. xxvi. 26, 27, 28. He himself made use of no others. A Christian needeth no others, inasmuch as bap t.sm is to him a sacrament of regeneration and of incorporation into the church, and the supper, of nourishment. Paul hath respect to no others, 1 Cor. x. 1-4. xii. 13. And therefore the Papists are to be condemned, since they have added five others to these, to wit, confirmation, auricular confession, extreme unction, orders and matrimony; for the first four were not instituted by Christ; was matrimony instituted, it was not however instituted to be a sacrament, since it wants the constituent parts of a sacrament; if it were instituted to be a sacrament, it ought to be common to all believers, and all ought to be bound to marry, which the word of God doth not teach. And why do they then forbid matrimony, as too carnal, to persons whom they call spiritual?
No one disputes that there is a great difference between the sacraments of the Old and of the New Testament. The sacraments of the Old Testament had other and more difficult signs than the sacraments of the New Testament: those were instituted by Christ, while he was promised, but these by him manifested in the flesh : those sealed that he should satisfy, but these seal that he hath satisfied. But that the sacraments of the Old Testament were types, which did not effect the thing signified, and that the sacraments of the New Testament are antitypes, which communicate and effect grace, as the Romanists assert, this is disallowed by Paul, when he saith concerning the Israelites, 1 Cor. x. 2, 3, 4, that "they," like
the Corinthians, were all baptized, and did all eat of the same spirital meat; and did all drink of the same spiritual drink; (for they drank of the spiritual rock, which followed them; and that rock was Christ.)" The sacraments of the Old Testament typified Christ only, Coll. ii. 17. Peter saith indeed that "baptism was a figure," (or antitype)" of Noah's ark, in which he was saved by water," 1 Peter iii. 20, 21, but he saith also what he understands by that typified baptism, "not that which is a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but that which is the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." And verily the preservation in the ark by water represented the thing signified by baptism, to wit, Christ, his covenant, and all the benefits of it.
See, hearers, in this manner is faith wrought and confirmed. What think ye, is not he who hath faith happy? it renders him a partaker of Christ, and of all his benefits: "It is given him in the behalf of Christ, to believe on him," Philip. i. 29. It is wrought in hiin effectually, he would never have believed, if the Holy Spirit had not wrought and effected it in him; yea, is it not a wonderful favour that he who hath begun a good work in you will also perform it, until the day of Jesus Christ" Philip. i. 6 .Ye, in whose hearts this faith hath been wrought, are also "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, as Peter saith, 1 Peter i. 5. "God, who hath promised you the hope of everlasting life, and hath sworn, that he might show more abundantly the immutability of his counsel, and that ye might have a strong consolation, cannot lie, it is impossible for him to lie," Titus i. 2. Heb. vi. 17, 18. And, as if this were not enough, he gives you also the pledges and seals of his truth, and of the righteousness of faith.
But what think ye all? hath the Holy Ghost wrought faith in your hearts? verily all men have not faith, but only the elect of God." according to the words of Paul, 2 Thess. iii. 2. Titus i. 3. We have shown largely enough on the seventh Lord's day who have not faith, and who have it in truth. Think only on what we have said there, that ye may see whether the Holy Ghost have wrought faith in your hearts, or not: we will not repeat what we have said on that Lord's
day. But how many are there among you to whom the Spirit hath not yet given faith! For
1. Some of you imagine that they have faith: but how have ye attained to it? by your birth of your parents? by baptism, or the virtuous Lord's supper by your good natural disposition? by your education? your civil or religious behaviour? all these things could not have wrought faith in you. Do ye say that ye hope the Holy Ghost hath wrought it in you? in what manner did he do it? did he truly humble your hearts, actually bring you to Christ, unite you to him, that ye might pursue holiness, as well as happiness? Do not deceive yourselves, we beseech you, with vain imaginations, thinking that we cannot know this so well. How! can such a great work be wrought in the soul, and such a great change be produced in her, that she, who was blind, is made to see, she who was dead, is made alive, she, who was unwilling, is made willing, and she not know aught of this? Perhaps ye think, the Holy Ghost doth not work faith in all after the same manner. It is true, we have also shown this before; but it is also certain, that although the Holy Ghost may bring a person to faith by a calm discovery of the truth of the gospel, or by the cords of love, which transport him out of himself, and although faith may be infused into his heart from his birth, he will nevertheless repeatedly after this have discoveries of his sinfulness, and be humbled on account of it, will betake himself to the Son of God for reconciliation, and peace with God, on account of his continual backslidings, and will exercise hins lf in serious godliness, and thus manifest that faith is not dead in him, but alive and active. See this in Lydia, Matthew, Zacheus, Micha the steward, John the Laptist, Timothy and others, who manifested that they had received faith.
2. Others of you know that they do not yet possess faith through the Spirit. We should think that these would be exceedingly troubled, and awake up in good earnest, that they might obtain faith of the Spirit: but how careless are the most of them, as if it were of no consequence to them whether they were saved or damned! It is amazing, that ye, who see that ye have not faith, are yet so careless, sluggish and listless. How is it possible, might we ask: but we need not weary ourselves, in order to learn what hath be witched you thus, men busy themselves too much with the affairs of the world: these fill and possess their hearts so, that they find neither leisure nor inclination to think seriously and deliberately on their miserable condition, how they may be delivered out of it, and how they shall obtain faith. Others find such a sweetness in the
Justs of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, that every idea concerning faith, salvation and damnation which either ariseth in their hearts, or is outwardly proposed is irksome to them. There are those also, in whom the Holy Spirit excites a concern for their dangerous condition, and who even wish that they had faith, and say with Balaam, Numb. xxiii. 10. "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." But it is "the desire of the slothful which killeth him, because his hands refuse to Jabour," Prov. xxi. 25. For they are backward to believe: because they have heard others talk somewhat of their inability, they think, how can I help it: if God will not give me faith by his Spirit, I cannot give it to myself: but it is not your inability, but your unwillingness, that hinders you from coming to the Lord Jesus, that ye may have life, John v. 40 The Spirit works in you by convincing you, by revealing the way of life to you, and by stirring you up to believe and repent; but ye oppose him, quel.ch him, and drive him from you by your carelessness, and by indulging your lusts, and so ye lesist the Holy Spirit, with the Jews.
In the mean time ye still dare to use the sacraments, as if ye, who have yet no faith, had a right to them, when they are only for believers, in order to confirm their faith; but they cannot surely con firm nor seal faith in you, when it doth not exist in you. Of what service are sea's to an empty letter? of none at all. Ye separate that which God hath joined together, for ye make use of his covenant seals, but do not bestir yourselves in the least to enter into the covenant by faith; therefore ye are not yet become partakers of Christ, and of all his benefits, but are under the wrath of God; for "the wrath of God abideth on him, who believeth not the Son," John iii. 36. The precious gospel, which urgeth you to believe, is "a savour of death unto death" to you, as Paul speaks, 2 Cor. ii. 16. And of what service are the sacraments to you? do they not seal perdition to you? Hear what the Lord saith, Deut. xxxii. 34, 35. "Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongeth vengeance and recompence, their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste." O that ye would only see it, and were concerned about it, so that with the jailer ye cried out, Acts, xvi. 30. “ What must I do to be saved?" we should say to you, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved," vrs. 31. At least, hearers, abide under the word of the gospel, and offer up that ejaculation, that "the Holy Ghost would fall on you who hear it," as it happened, Acts x. 44.
But, believers, in whose hearts faith hath been truly wrought by the lily host, ye also are not unblamable here, since your faith is suli so we and small, notwithstanding so many means of the word, Sacraments and operations of the Holy Ghost; for who among you hath yet made any considerable progress? what causes you to doubt so olten concerning your hope of salvation, which ye have in God and Christ? is it not because it seems too great for you? because ye have httle or no sensible grace? will not the least thought, that enters your mind without reason, as, “O if I should deceive myself," ussetde all your hopes? How little ability is there in your faith to employ Christ and his grace, instead of your own strength! men have scarcely any skill in this art. Are they called upon to suffer hatred, pain, shame, or loss on account of godliness, they shrink from it: there is not so much strength in their faith, that they dare to come out resolutely Are they in any danger, or under any heavy cross, with respect to their body, estate, or household; their faith fails, and they cry out, We perish: are they disturbed with doubtful apprehensions concerning their faith by their unbelieving hearts, by. Satan, and by wicked men; they give all up in their own imaginations, and their minds are oppressed with fear; do they behold their meanness and unworthiness; they tremble; and how hardly can they endure to look at that which is to come! the blessed and unseen eternity, how dark doth it appear to the soul !
What think ye, that this is only your misery? yea, it is your misery, but it is a.so your sin, and indeed a great sin, which is exceedingly hateful, and blamable in the eyes of the Lord. Hear how he chides his people on account of it, and believe that he chides you also, when he saith, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Matt. vit 26. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Matt. xiv. 31. Hear from him language still more severe, Mark ix. 19. O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" With no less earnestness and severity did he say, Luke xxiv. 25. "O fools and slow of heart to believe!"
But what do I say, that many are weak in the faith? it is still more sinful, that many becoine weaker in it, when they ought to wax strong, and to increase in faith. Is it not true, when some of you wax cold in their first love, and forsake it? for "faith worketh by love,," according to Gal. v. 6. And men show this, when they so easily indulge their constitutional sin, and their hearts do not bleed on account of it. They regard the things of this life too much, and their heart are filled with them, so that they bewilder their understandings, captivate their affections, and consume the time, which